TN: A nail in a pocket is a Korean idiom meaning a skilled individual will be discovered no matter how well he hides himself.
Chapter 17. A Nail in a Pocket (1)
A lone player was hunting a slime dog, a level 10 monster. To kill this weak monster, he toiled for ten whole minutes.
When this player raised his sword to deliver the final blow, someone slammed him with his shoulder. The player fell on the ground, and the one that pushed him cut off the slime dog’s head with a slash.
The player watched this happen from the ground.
The one who pushed him down, a player named Haybola, smiled at the player on the ground.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
It clearly wasn’t an apology. He had clearly ran into him on purpose.
“What are you doing!?”
The player that had been pushed down jumped up from the ground and shouted. If this was reality, he wouldn’t hesitate to call the police.
But this wasn’t reality. It was a VR game world. There was no law nor police. There was only the fist.
“What? What did you just say?”
At the shouting player, Haybola’s expression immediately changed. He put up an intimidating face and glared at the player.
“What’s going on?”
Haybola’s friends, the remaining two members of the Ralph Family, stealthily appeared.
3 vs 1.
It was enough to calm someone who had anger management issues.
“I made a little mistake and apologized, but this bastard here suddenly yells and curses at me.”
“What? Who dares to curse the Ralph Family’s leader?”
“Mistakes happen in games. Who gets mad over that? What a fucktard.”
Then, Haybola hit the shoulder of the stiff player, and the player faltered back.
“Say that again. I dare you.”
Haybola hit the player’s shoulder a couple more times, and the player continued to step backwards. Haybola followed and stepped forward.
Watching this scene, the other two laughed heinously. It went without saying that they had planned this out, and were now in the middle of enjoying it.
‘Haybola’s acting skills are getting better every day.’
‘We can probably pull some good views from filming these now.’
For the victim, the situation could only be infuriating. It didn’t take a genius to understand what was happening or what the aggressors wanted.
In the real world, most people would bear with it, but it was a different story in the game world. It was very rare for people to be patient even in games.
“If you don’t stop now, I won’t stand for it!”
The Ralph Family’s target this time was one of the less patient ones. Even though he continued to step backwards, he wasn’t intimidated. In the end, he erupted while looking at Haybola through his strange mask.
Watching their victim burst out in anger, the Ralph Family laughed wholeheartedly. It was as if they were watching a comedy show. The two listening from the back were cracking up, while Haybola barely held it in and smacked the cheek of their victim.
“Won’t stand for it? What are you going to do, eh? Tell me!”
From their repeated provocations, the lone player was clearly pissed.
“If you continue, I’ll have no choice but to fight.”
“Fight? Did you just say ‘fight’?”
With Haybola yelling loud enough for his friends to hear, the two behind him were ready to pass out from laughing too hard.
‘It’s been a while since we baited someone so fun.’
To them, the victim’s angry reaction was akin to the feeling of a fish biting down on the bait. It was fun catching the fish, but the real fun came from the fish resisting and trying to get away.
Haybola was also excited to screw over their tasty find. In fact, he found it increasingly hard to hold himself in check. His whole body was itching to have a go.
“Alright, then! Let’s fight!”
So he accepted.
No, he wasn’t accepting a fight. What he would be doing was a one-sided violence, akin to killing ants. It was his opponent that would be struggling desperately.
Then, as soon as Haybola accepted his victim’s declaration of war.
A knife pierced through his right eye.
Haybola didn’t understand what just happened. He couldn’t even recognize the knife tip entering his field of vision. That was how quick it happened.
Of course, as a result, vision disappeared from Haybola’s right eye.
The knife that pierced Haybola’s right eye pierced his left eye as well. The bright world in Haybola’s eyes quickly turned completely dark.
Even now, Haybola was unable to understand what had happened to him.
This was his first time getting the blind penalty. It was very rare for players to have both their eyes attacked.
Warlord players would specialized in PvPs and PKs had to be knowledgeable about the blind penalty. It was the very basic to avoid having their eyes attacked. It was more important than even the heart or the head. In the first place, players didn’t instantly die unless their heads were chopped off. Even if their eyes were taken away, it was important to not panic.
But what if you did?
Then the meaning of levels disappeared.
While Haybola was panicking, the Ralph Family’s prey, Hyrkan, pushed Haybola’s head with his left hand. As his head tilted back, his neck was open.
Hyrkan immediately stabbed into his neck.
And it wasn’t just once.
He stabbed into it without rest. As if he was a sewing machine, his hand moved at an frightening pace.
It wasn’t just stabbing either. He was making a dotted line. He was clearly trying to make it easy to rip off his neck. The knife which began in Haybola’s Adam’s apple quickly moved to the back of his neck. In an instant, over six knife cuts were made.
Haybola let out a scream.
It wasn’t because of pain. What pain he could feel would only be that of someone harshly poking his neck.
The problem was the circumstance. His vision had suddenly turned dark, then something sharp began stabbing into his neck. Who would be used to something like this? How many would even have experience with something like this?
It wasn’t surprising for him to have panicked.
Haybola tried to struggle by flailing his arms around, but as if he had already predicted it, Hyrkan moved behind Haybola and continued stabbing at his neck.
Stab stab. This eerie noise continued to sound out like the ticking of a clock.
All this happened within a single breath of time.
There was no way for Haybola’s two friends to respond in time.
Just a moment ago, the two of them were on the verge of passing out from laughter. But now, they were completely in a daze as they stood witless.
In a brief moment, one of the two, who had some battle experience as a swordsman, snapped out of his daze.
As he yelled out his comrade’s name, the priest next to him snapped out of it as well. The swordsman player immediately pulled out his sword.
It was not the default item from the Subjugation Association, but one that he had purchased from the money he had saved up by PKing. Although the sword gave off a frightening aura, the swordsman only stood his ground.
Save his comrade? How? How could he save his comrade who was already held by his back?
Thoughts like these filled his mind.
Meanwhile, having heard the swordsman pull out his sword and with his knife still in Haybola’s neck, Hyrkan put his hands in his pocket and quickly threw Skeleton Warrior fragments towards Haybola’s comrades.
The Skeleton Warrior quickly revealed its splendor.
With the sudden appearance of the Skeleton Warrior, their overloaded minds finally exploded.
‘He wasn’t a swordsman?’
They had thought he was a swordsman. They had no choice but to. If someone fighting with a slime dog for 10 minutes with his sword wasn’t a swordsman, then what class would he be?
But a skeleton warrior appeared. It wasn’t an ordinary skeleton warrior either, but one made using a blue werewolf as the material. His skull was clearly that of a wolf’s, and since there was no skin on a skeleton, its protruding mouth and fangs invoked fear from anyone watching.
Plus, Warlord players encountered undead type monsters around level 30. For difficulty’s sake, players only dealt with easy monsters like slimes until level 20. It was a result of Warlord’s overflowing generosity.
As the two of them would never have experienced undead monsters, they had no choice but to panic.
At the same time, Haybola was also in panic as he wasn’t getting any help from his comrades. Listening to the sound of their flustered breathing in a completely dark world, Haybola was ready to go crazy.
Meanwhile, Hyrkan continued to stab at Haybola’s neck. It almost began to sound like an instrument. While continuing his work, Hyrkan turned his body. Haybola’s body turned along with Hyrkan, and they were now facing the two comrades of Haybola.
“This is self-defense. I didn’t want to do this. I am not at fault.”
It wasn’t something someone doing such a frightening thing would say. It was like he was some sort of a psychopath.
At this moment, Hyrkan whispered into Haybola’s ear.
“I have no faults. You agree, right?”
Haybola shuddered. At the same time, he was infuriated. As a result, he finally opened his tightly shut mouth.
At that moment, Hyrkan’s sword penetrated Haybola’s mouth. Haybola felt like he was biting down on a towel, but his chest felt like blowing up from the fact that he couldn’t speak.
This was all Haybola could feel. However, his two comrades watching from the side were completely frozen from this torture.
‘W-What do we do?’
Although they were thinking the same thing, that was it. They could only worry in their mind.
Hyrkan noted their reactions from across his hahoe mask.
‘Early 20s or late 10s.’
Hyrkan had long ago noticed them targeting him.
It wasn’t anything hard. Mt. Bima wasn’t a popular hiking place. It didn’t have a hiking trail in the first place. As such, the pathway was wherever people were walking. But someone was following him. If he stopped, they stopped. They didn’t try to strike up a conversation with him either.
It was blatantly obvious what their goal was. There was no way Hyrkan wouldn’t have noticed, as he had many experiences with such situations.
So he had long ago formed a plan to screw them over. He would hide his identity as a necromancer and act as if he was having a hard time killing a slime dog. Stepping backwards and making distance between Haybola and his friends, and letting their guard down by looking weak was all part of Hyrkan’s plan.
And such a plan was necessary.
He was against 3 people, all who were higher level than him. Just Haybola’s strength stat should be several times that of Hyrkan’s. It was simply impossible to overwhelm them with power. If Haybola regained his cool and tried to shake off Hyrkan, he would have long disappeared from Hyrkan’s grasp.
To prevent such a thing from happening, Hyrkan showed absolute cruelty. Stabbing both of his eyes from the start, constantly focusing on his neck, and baiting him to talk then penetrating it with his sword, these were all part of Hyrkan’s plan to cause him to panic.
A skilled, experienced player would have responded to Hyrkan’s aims.
‘The lowest of the low.’
In other words, the Ralph Family, according to Hyrkan’s standards, was the lowest of the low.
At the same time, this served as proof. Proof that they didn’t receive proper education from a guild!
And that meant one thing.
‘No need to worry about payback.’
There was no problem with Hyrkan completely plundering these guys.
‘Thanks for the meal.’